Game 121: Beltran returns to the field

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

After a throwing program, a setback, and another throwing program, Carlos Beltran returns to right field today for the first time since May 11th. A bone spur in his throwing elbow limited him to DH duties over the last three months.

I’m not sure playing the defensively challenged Beltran in the outfield actually helps the Yankees, but this is year one of a three-year deal, so if they can avoid sticking him at DH full-time, they should do it. You can bet the Rays will test his arm this afternoon. Here is Tampa’s lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. DH Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. 2B Martin Prado
  8. C Frankie Cervelli
  9. SS Brendan Ryan
    RHP Shane Greene

The Tropicana Field roof is coming in handy this series because it’s raining again in St. Petersburg. This afternoon’s game will begin a little after 4pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and Fox Sports1 nationally. Here are the Fox Sports1 channel listings. Try to enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Brian McCann (concussion) is expected to be activated off the 7-day disabled list and play in tomorrow’s series finale. He is not active today.

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Tanaka “felt very good” throwing off mound for first time since injury

As expected, Masahiro Tanaka threw 25 fastballs in the bullpen this afternoon, his first time throwing off a mound since suffering a partially torn elbow ligament in early-July. ‚ÄúToday I was able to throw the way I wanted to,” he said to Marly Rivera. “I felt very good and all is headed in the right direction.”

According to Rivera, pitching coach Larry Rothschild cautioned they have to “see how he feels in a few days” before deciding on the next step. Tanaka indicated he would like to throw breaking balls next time out. Rothschild also said the “way the team plays has no impact on his rehab, cause it’s not worth it,” and he’s right. The Yankees have to do what’s best for Tanaka long-term and not grasp at the last straws of contention by rushing him back.

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Sherman: Yankees viewed as “major players” for Rusney Castillo

Via Joel Sherman: The Yankees are viewed as “major players” for Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo. They are said to like him more as a second baseman while most teams view him as an outfielder. The 27-year-old Castillo is finished with private workouts and is currently sorting through contract offers. He could sign as soon as next week.

According to Sherman, teams have a lot of urgency to get Castillo signed quickly for a few reasons. One, needs a work visa and they want to start that process as soon as possible. Two, he has to be in the organization by August 31st to be postseason eligible. Three, there is a little more than two weeks left in the minor league season and teams want Castillo to get in as many games as possible before considering him for a September call-up. The Yankees should be focused on 2015 at this point, so if they’re going to sign Castillo, the sooner they get him into the organization the better.

Same old story: Yankees lose again, this time 5-0 to Rays


Source: FanGraphs

Make it five straight losses to both the Rays and all teams in general. The Yankees were shut out 5-0 by Tampa in their series opener on Friday night as the offense continues to fold like a lawn chair during what was an important stretch of the season. Now it doesn’t look like there will be many important games left this year.

I missed tonight’s game and I ain’t mad about it. I’ve been told Brandon McCarthy was once again solid, falling victim to some shaky defense early and broken bat bloopers late. He was around the plate all night, throwing 84 of his 110 pitches for strikes (76%) and a first pitch strike to 23 of 28 batters faced. Seven strikeouts, ten ground ball outs, and two fly ball outs. That’s work just fine. McCarthy isn’t part of the problem.

The offense put one runner at third base all night, and that came with one out in the eighth inning, after they were already down four runs. Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira, aka the three-four hitters, both struck out with the bases loaded to squash that rally. The Yankees actually had the leadoff man reach base in five innings, so I guess that means they made Alex Cobb work hard? Based on his pitching line, it doesn’t look like it.

Derek Jeter and Teixeira both had two hits while Chase Headley, Frankie Cervelli, and Drew had one each. Brett Gardner drew the only walk. Esmil Rogers came out of the bullpen and served up a solo homer to James Loney — apparently he tried to quick-pitch him — for the Rays’ totally unnecessary fifth run. The Yankees have scored seven runs during the five-game losing streak, two of which scored when Manny Machado hit Carlos Beltran in the head with a throw.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are now eight games back in the AL East and 4.5 games back to Robinson Cano‘s Mariners for the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 5.8% and shrinking. They’ll try to score a run or two against lefty Drew Smyly during Saturday afternoon’s probable loss. Shane Greene will be on the bump for the Yankees.

Minor League Update: All of the night’s box scores can be seen in one place at MLB Farm. RHP Bryan Mitchell struck out three in five shutout innings, OF Tyler Austin had two doubles and a single, LHP Jacob Lindgren struck out five in two scoreless innings, and C Luis Torrens doubled. Not much else to see there.